Microsoft Power BI: Is This the Best Business Intelligence Tool?

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Microsoft Power BI has plenty of expectations to live up to.

Not only is it one of the most popular business intelligence solutions on the market, but it’s also produced by one of the giants of the technology industry. But is it worth the hype? In this review, we will take a closer look at Microsoft Power BI – and help you decide if this is the best BI tool for your business.


Why Use Business Intelligence Tools?

Business intelligence has been around since the 1960s. Back then, however, BI software was mostly reserved for the technical analysts working at large, international conglomerates. The price tag was so steep that the average company would never find it worthwhile to invest in. 

Now, the world of business has changed. With the ever-increasing growth of Big Data and cloud technology, business intelligence has now become a necessity for the majority of decision-makers out there, regardless of their size or industry. And whether you are looking for an open source or licensed software, you can be sure to find a solution that will fit your requirements. 

So, why exactly are modern companies now embracing BI technology? According to a recent market study performed by Dresner Advisory Service, the top intelligence objectives of 2018 are: 

  • Performing better decision-making
  • Identify opportunities for cost savings
  • Find opportunities for revenue growth
  • And increase competitive advantage

Standard practices are now shifting to data-driven decisions, and, as a result, big data analytics are giving businesses the opportunity to grow faster than ever before. 

Key Features of Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI offer a full suite of solid business analytics tools that can simplify the management of your big data. Is your business struggling to make sense of it all? By implementing Power BI, you can easily transform your structured or unstructured data into actionable reports containing data-driven insights. This can take your decision-making to the next level. 

A clear advantage is that the software is far from complicated to deploy and use. The easy-to-use interface allows relevant individuals – such as your business development team, your analysts or your developer – to create personal dashboard with the key information their roles require. In addition to the seamless navigation, Microsoft Power BI contains key features, such as:

  • Personalized dashboards updated in real-time
  • Data visualizations
  • Easy Reporting
  • Natural-language questions
  • Standards-based REST API
  • Power Query
  • Data Sources

Microsoft regularly release new updates and additions to its business intelligence suite, thereby ensuring that everything is always up-to-date. 

Read More: 8 Best Security Practices in Microsoft Azure. 

Microsoft Power BI Pricing

You might be surprised to find that Microsoft is offering one of the most affordable business intelligence solutions on the market. At the moment, Power BI comes in three price ranges.

The Power BI Desktop: This free analytics suite allows you to connect numerous data sources, clean and prepare data, and create reports. While it lacks a lot of the key features, it’s still a worthwhile choice for small companies taking their first steps towards better business intelligence. 

The Power BI Pro: This is a monthly subscription, and it starts at $9.99 per month per user. Fully managed by Microsoft, this self-service BI allows for collaboration, sharing, and ad hoc analysis (in addition to all the features found in the free version). It’s also worth mentioning that the price of this suite is lower than a lot of its competitors. 

The Power BI Premium: This is a full analytics suite containing everything a large, data-driven organisation can dream of. It contains Enterprise BI, big data analytics, cloud reporting, advanced deployment controls, and instant access to Power BI content for any users. The premium BI suite is offered at $4,995 per dedicated cloud compute and storage resource. 

Top Alternatives to Microsoft Power BI

Tableau is another leading business intelligence tool, and it’s a strong competitor to Power BI. With this solution, you can visually analyse data, create interactive dashboards, and connect to Big Data sources in order to process relevant data. The prices start at $12 per user per month for the on-premise solution and goes up to $70 per user per month. 

Qlik Sense is a business intelligence tool that has experienced plenty of growth during the last few years. The software is equipped with an analytics engine, sophisticated AI and a scalable multi-cloud architecture. Qlik’s SaaS suite starts at $30 per user per month. 

Should you choose Power BI? 

With Power BI, Microsoft is offering a flexible data solution – with brilliant visualization features – that can accelerate your decision-making. This is also backed up by a very reasonable pricing. 

Whether you should implement Power BI, however, depends entirely on the needs and requirements of your organisation. It’s therefore essential that you have a full overview of your current data challenges and future requirements before you sign up for a new solution. 

Do you find business intelligence challenging and time-consuming? Let us handle it. Our IT Consultants here at YourShortlist offer unbiased buying advice to all UK businesses. Drop us a message on our contact page, and one of them will be in touch ASAP!